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Believe Memphis: Now more than ever.

Skepticism abounds as the season approaches. But in the moments that matter most, belief will again reign supreme in Memphis.

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There are moments in Memphis where the Grizzlies and the city are one.

When Growl Towels are held up as “Don’t Stop Believing”, or when The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” blares over the loud speakers after a timeout called by an opponent after a huge play or shot is made by the home team. When the mascot Grizz ascends the tallest ladder and unfurls a banner saying “finish them” and the crowd goes wild. When a city sees one of their players fall due to injury, fight back to play even tough he is not 100% and then shows support with a mask...

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Even the biggest skeptic, in that moment, believes.

And belief in Memphis has been tested ever since the injury-riddled result of last season. The dismissal of former head coach Dave Joerger and the arrival of new HC David Fizdale creates more questions about how this roster will respond to change. The core of the Grizzlies are either old, injured, or both. The top of the western conference only gets more dominant as the Warriors add Kevin Durant, and the Clippers, Spurs, Trail Blazers, and even Utah Jazz seem to be on an upward trajectory according to the numbers and the experts.

Rational thought says that more likely than not this is going to be a season of uncertainty. But the Memphis Grizzlies have shown in the past that they do not necessarily bend to the whims of what is deemed “rational thought”.

What rational person saw Zach Randolph, civic hero coming? What advanced metric saw Tony Allen signing with Memphis and becoming a cult icon, coining a phrase and style of phrase that stands alongside “Showtime” and “Bad Boys” not in terms of championships but in terms of a set identity? Which projection system called the rise of Marc Gasol from trade toss-in to franchise player, or the development of Mike Conley in to the $153 million man after the way his career started?

The root of sport is competition. And while there are always odds and likelihoods, and in 2016 we have more ways than ever before to break down those chances any team has in a season, the old adage still holds true. Games are not won on paper. Odds are that this Grizzlies team is more likely to underachieve, or even fail, than overachieve.

But this Grizzlies team has never cared about the odds. And neither does the believer in the moment with the Growl Towel.

NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The season finally gets under way on Wednesday for Memphis, and the long, drawn out period of prognostication that is the preseason will fade in to the distance. What lies ahead of the Grizzlies is the most uncertain season of their history, at least since Zach Randolph first arrived in Memphis. What the make-up of the team will be remains to be seen. How they will play, who will play with who, how many games key players can even make it out on the court...many questions will finally start to get their answers.

There is a real chance that the answers aren’t good ones. But just as skepticism is warranted, so is hope. For the Grizzlies have shown, time and again, that they are more than capable of being the exception to the rule. Some of the faces have changed, but the soul of the team remains the same, still intertwined with the soul of the city that has embraced them. The development of a culture within an organization is an underrated point of strength for these Grizzlies. That will shine through in times of adversity, as it has in the past, and will hopefully help carry Memphis through.

And when the moment comes- and it will come- skeptics and optimists both will be there waving their towels and singing along with The Gap Band. Because in that moment, nothing else matters but belief.

Follow @sbngrizzlies